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Canada 150

 


      Montreal’s Expo Leonardo

       
      By
      May. 23, 2011

      The Leonardo Da Vinci Center in St-Leonard is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy by highlighting one of the greatest Italians of all time – a man who also happens to be the center’s namesake. Expo Leonardo features two month-long exhibitions of rarely seen works on the great Leonardo Da Vinci.

      The first exhibit, called Leonardo Da Vinci: A gift from God, features the private collection of Dr. Rolando Del Maestro. Del Maestro, an internationally renowned neurosurgeon and the director of the Brain Tumor Research Centre at the Montreal Neurological Institute, has one of the largest private collections of materials related to Da Vinci. This is a rare opportunity to see his collection, which includes drawings, paintings, books and much much more.

      The second exhibit, The Machines of Leonardo, features a series of fifty machines faithfully reproduced from Da Vinci’s designs and drawings. The machines are the painstaking work of Pugliese engineer Giuseppe Manisco.

      Pat Buttino, Cultural Manager at the Center, admits that the original idea behind the May festivities was quite modest, and in a short time snowballed into a month-long international event, which will end on May 29 with Italia in Festa, a free daylong outdoor music festival.

      “After I built the first machine, it was so emotionally satisfying to be able to turn a Da Vinci design into an actual working machine that it soon became an obsession,” explains Manisco, who was in Montreal for the opening of the exhibit.

      Manisco’s obsession has become contagious. His family is both a supportive and collaborative force. And so is his local municipality. Plans are in the works to transform an old palazzo in the town of Galatone, Puglia into a museum to house Manisco’s machines.

      At the moment, Manisco stores his seventy-two machines at home. He admits that you sometimes cannot tell if his house is a home, a factory or a museum.

      “One has to marvel at Leonardo’s creations. His genius, his vision… is beyond his time. Some of his machines are so environmentally friendly and sound, we should be using them today,” Manisco explains.

      Expo Leonardo runs until June 5, 2011. Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00AM to 9:00PM, and Saturday and Sunday, 10:00AM to 9:00PM. Tickets are $12.50 for adults, and $5.00 for children and seniors. For more details, please visit www.centreleonardodavinci.com.

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